Apply a Baking Soda Car Cleaner
Prepare in advance for your next few car washes by making your own condensed cleaner base. Pour ¼ cup baking soda into a gallon (4 litres) bucket/jug, then add ¼ cup dishwashing liquid and enough water to fill it almost to the top. Mix well, and store the concentrate for later use. When it comes time to wash the car, mix vigorously and then pour 1 cup of the cleaner base into a water pail. Fill the pail with warm water, stir to mix, and your homemade cleaning solution is ready to use.
Put Those Baby Wipes to Use
Want more car wash tricks? Clean your windshield and car windows by rubbing them with baby wipes stored in your glove compartment. What could be easier?
Clean Dirty Windshields with Cola
When it rains after a long dry spell, a dirty windshield turns into one big mess. Get rid of streaks and blotches by pouring cola over the glass. (Stretch a towel along the bottom of the windshield to protect hood paint.) The bubbles in the cola will fizz away the grime. Just be sure to wash the sticky cola off thoroughly or your cleaning efforts will end up attracting dust and dirt.
Discover This Surprising No-Wax Washer
Add 1 cup kerosene to a 3-gallon (12 litre) pail filled with water and then sponge the solution over your car. You won’t have to spray the car before washing or rinse or wax it once you’re done. And the next time it rains, rainwater will bead up and roll off the car, lessening the likelihood of rusting.
Try Hair Conditioner for Shine
Wash your car with a hair conditioner containing lanolin. You’ll become a believer when you see the freshly waxed look and when you find that the surface will repel rain.
Wash Your Windows with Ammonia
Add 60ml household ammonia to 1 litre water, pour it into a plastic bottle with a watertight cap and keep it in your car for washing the windscreen and windows. As soon as your windscreen begins to get dirty, take out the solution and apply it with a sponge; then dry the windscreen with a soft cloth or paper towels.
Clean Your Windshield Wiper Blades
If your windshield wiper blades get dirty, they’ll streak the glass instead of keeping it clean and clear. Make a solution of ¼ cup household ammonia to 1 litre cold water. Gently lift the blades, and wipe both sides with a soft cloth or paper towel soaked in the solution. Then wipe the blades with a dry cloth before lowering them into place.
Try Vodka on the Job
When your windshield-washer reservoir needs filling, raid the liquor cabinet to make your own washing fluid. In a screw-top gallon jug, mix 3 cups vodka (the cheapest you can find) with 4 cups water and 2 teaspoons liquid dishwashing detergent. Screw on the cap and shake well, then pour as much fluid as needed into the reservoir.
Use an Unlikely Substitute
If the reservoir is empty (and doesn’t it always seem to be?), use an unlikely substitute to clean your windshield: feminine hygiene maxi-pads, a box of which you could stash in the trunk. Hold a pad on the sticky side and rub the windshield vigorously. The glass will really shine once you’ve wiped it to the max.
Shine Those Car Lights
Keep your headlights polished (and yourself, safe) by applying window cleaner and rubbing vigorously with an old pair of panty hose.